15 Sep 2014
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Beachgoer Struck by Lightning

A Tampa man suffered injuries from what authorities are saying was an indirect lighting strike on Thursday morning.

Beachgoer Struck by Lightning

A Thursday morning trip to Sand Key Park in Clearwater was cut short for a Tampa man when a nearby lightning strike left him with non-life-threatening injuries.

Samuel Sepulveda, 44, of Tampa, was on the beach, about 25 yards from the lifeguard stand when a bolt of lightning struck nearby him with an indirect hit causing him injuries, an email to media from the City of Clearwater stated. The city’s police and fire departments both responded, with a lifeguard assisting the victim before emergency crews arrived.

A second lightning strike started a small brush fire at the park at the same time, the city said, setting fire to small grouping of palm trees and a grassy area. Firefighters were able to put the blaze out within minutes.

“It was not raining or actively storming at the time of the incident, which
shows the unpredictable nature of the summer thunderstorm season in Florida,” the city’s email said. “Beachgoers and others participating in outdoor activities need to keep a wary eye on the sky at all times, because lightning can stretch out several miles from the actual storm clouds.”

Sepulveda was taken to a local hospital for treatment. 

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